How to Become a Freight Broker in Georgia
People who enjoy an ever-changing and fast-paced work environment may want to consider a career as a freight broker. Brokers arrange transportation for shipments, negotiate prices for the service and communicate with their clients along the shipment’s journey. Freight brokers must have a license and insurance, and they can oversee freight agents, who do not have licenses or insurance and work as independent contractors. Agents are typically responsible for managing sales and finding the proper carrier for each shipment.
Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in Georgia
Freight brokers in Georgia must meet the standard federal guidelines to legally work in the state. Georgia does not require any additional state-level qualifications. Freight brokers should have a high school diploma or equivalent, with contingent cargo insurance, liability insurance and a $75,000 surety bond.
Some brokers may find it helpful to enroll in a training program, particularly if they are new to the industry. However, no formal schooling beyond a high school diploma is required.
Georgia Schools for Freight Brokers
Enrolling in a freight broker training course can help prospective brokers navigate the application process and learn valuable skills to help them succeed in the field. Here are two Georgia-based schools to consider:
- Shippers Carriers Based in Winder, GA, Shippers Carriers offers a variety of freight broker and freight agent training programs. Students can take a two-day, in-person course with a small group of students, a one-on-one course or an online course. Shippers Carriers also offers a Business Start-Up class, in which students will register their companies, create a website and even design business cards.
- Freight Movers School Atlanta’s Freight Movers school provides in-person and online classes that range from a full how-to course for new freight brokers to a one-day course that helps brush up on sales skills. Graduates have the opportunity to be placed at one of the school’s affiliate brokerages.
Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in Georgia
To work in Georgia, freight brokers must be licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Brokers can obtain this license by registering the name of their business and getting a U.S. Department of Transportation number, both of which must be submitted along with their license application. They must also pay a licensing fee of $300.
Freight brokers do not have to take a formal exam to be licensed in Georgia. Those who wish to acquire a formal acknowledgement of their skills can take an exam offered by the Transportation Intermediaries Association. The Certified Transportation Brokers exam can be taken to gain a competitive edge in the industry and prove to clients that brokers have the skills necessary to properly arrange transportation for their goods.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
The trucking industry helps connect businesses to suppliers and customers. As the retail industry grows, so too does trucking and freight brokering. The outlook for careers in freight brokerage are therefore positive, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the industry to grow by 29 percent by 2020.
The national average salary for freight brokers is $43,926 per year, and salaries in Georgia typically average $43,830 per year.
Working as a Freight Broker in Georgia
After receiving their licenses, freight brokers can choose between two working environments. Many choose to start their own companies and either work from home or from their own offices. This option is ideal for people who enjoy a startup-style atmosphere and are ready to tackle the ins and outs of running a company. Others join an existing firm instead, which provides more stability and allows them to focus solely on brokering deals instead of marketing and other entrepreneurial tasks. These brokers typically receive higher salaries in larger cities, such as Atlanta, due to the increased cost of living in those areas. No matter the office type, freight brokers enjoy an exciting career in which no two days are ever quite the same.